The Press-Conference of Dobosch, 5 June 1972 (26.9)

<<No 26 : 5 July 1972>>

On 5 June, a press-conference by Jaroslav Dobosch (CCE 24.3) was shown on [Soviet] Ukrainian television. At this press-conference Dobosch made a statement. We cite extracts from this statement:

Logo of Ukrainian Youth Association

“I have been requested … to make the following statement. I, Jaroslav Dobosch, a Belgian citizen, was born in West Germany in 1947. Prior to my arrival in the Soviet Union, I was living in Belgium . . . and studying in my fifth year in the faculty of sociology at the Catholic University … In 1967 I joined a nationalist organization,  the Ukrainian Youth Association (UYA) [note 1]. This organization consists of young people who . . . are fighting . . . for the creation of an independent Ukraine … In fact, this organization is directed by the OUN [Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists]

“… In the autumn of 1971, as an active member of UYA, I was elected chairman of the Belgian section of this organization . . . Carrying out the instructions of UYA … I left Brussels on 27 December 1971 . . . for the Soviet Union . , . My task was as follows; in Kiev and Lvov … I was to meet Ivan Svitlychny, Zinoviya Franko, Anna Kocurova and Leonid Seleznenko (see CCE 24.3 and CCE 25.2) and Stefania Hulyk, [note 2] and obtain through them anti-Soviet and other information with the aim of using it in the West, and also 1 was to hand over money to some of these people . . . On 29 December I arrived in Kiev . . . I was in Kiev from 29 December to I January … At pre-arranged places I met I. Svitlychny, Z. Franko and L. Seleznenko, and with Seleznenko’s help I met A. Kocurova. I gave to all these persons information about the anti-Soviet activities of Ukrainian organizations in the West and told them that Ukrainian nationalists were collaborating with the Zionists in their activities, and I obtained from them the political information I required and documents relating to it.

“I gave Svitlychny and Franko 50 roubles each for their support, and I also gave 50 roubles for the filmed documents. Continuing to carry out my instructions, I came to Lvov on 3 January . . . on 4 January I met S. Hulyk. During this meeting I informed her about the anti-Soviet activities of nationalist organizations in the West, obtained from her the political and other information we needed, and gave her 30 roubles for her support. Having completed my mission in full I left Lvov on 5 January. At Chop, the frontier station [Hungary], I was arrested for the crime I had committed, and criminal proceedings were instituted against me.

“I confessed to having committed a heinous crime against the Soviet state, At the investigation I gave an account of all mv hostile activities in the Ukraine. I expressed the hope that the organs, taking into consideration my youth and my frank confession, would come to a humane decision on my ease. I give the Soviet government my assurance that never again in my life will I engage in anti-Soviet activity and, if I am given the opportunity to return to Belgium, once there, I will never commit any acts against the Soviet Union.”

After this, Dobosch replied to questions from representatives of the Soviet public and press attending the conference. At the close of the conference, it was announced that, taking into account J. Dobosch’s frank confession, it had been resolved to discharge him from criminal responsibility and deport him from the USSR [note 3].


Naturally, the question arises: will the chief witness for the prosecution, J. Dobosch, appear at the trial of Ivan Svitlychny, Leonid Seleznenko and the others? Or will his testimony, as was the case with the testimony of H. Sebreghts at the trial of Bukovsky (CCE 23.1), not be subject to cross-examination at the judicial hearing?



[1] Ukrainian Youth Association – UYA or Soyuz Ukrainskoi Molodyozhi (SUM).

[2] Hulyk is a former official of the Lvov branch of the Society to Preserve Cultural and Historical Monuments, see the Ukrainian Herald (Nos. 3 and 4).

Seleznenko, in an ‘‘open letter” presumably written in prison, confesses to meeting Dobosch and to giving his former student Kocurova a collection of poems by Vasyl Stus. See also the Ukrainian paper Robitnicha hazeta (8 July 1972), and a full translation in the paper News from Ukraine (English version of Visti z Ukrainy), No. 17, August 1972.

[3] In a press-statement released on 12 June 1972 in Belgium Dobosch retracted much of this testimony.